You may not know this, but back in the day, I used to be a Baller. What is a baller? According to the dictionary of Glen Wolf, a baller is “One who balls”. I received “baller status” because I could beat anyone and everyone in any game that involved a ball. I could win in baseball, football, wall ball (some of you don’t know anything about wall ball) and, of course, basketball. Yup! I was the baller of my fifth grade P.E. Class. I remember one day I was hanging out with my friends, when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, one of my good friends punched me right in my mouth. His name was Bradley . I was stunned. I couldn’t believe that Bradley punched me in the face! I thought we were friends! But apparently Bradley had a problem with me I knew nothing about. Bradley had a major grudge… Against me! Little did I know that he had kept a list of everything I had ever done wrong to him. As a result, I had a big fat lip!
My relationship with Bradley was never the same after that moment. I distanced myself from him because I didn’t want another minor concussion! I think we all can agree that it is hard to stay close to someone or want to be around someone that secretly holds a grudge against you. Here’s my point. If we don’t watch it, as followers of Jesus, we think that God holds grudges against us. We think that he is up there in heaven with an ever-growing list of everything that we’ve ever done wrong and that he is building his case against us so that he can give us a big fat lip.
That couldn’t be further than the truth! The gospel does not say that God will save us from SOME of our sin. The Bible says that Jesus saves us from ALL of our sin- that means past, present, and future sins! God is not us! He is not holding grudges! He is extending grace! This grace is for anybody and everybody! Let me show it to you in scripture.
1 Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ also suffered once (better translated “once for all”) for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”
Psalm 103:11-12 says, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Here is a question that we have to ask ourselves: If Jesus has taken away all of our sins-including our past, and is not holding a grudge against us, then why do we let our past beat us up so much? Let me say it like this. If God has let go of your past, then why do you keep bringing it back up?
So… I want to propose to you this truth- Because of Jesus, You never have to look back again!
I think Paul understood this when he said in Philippians 3:13-14 “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
I think we, as followers of Jesus, need to spend our time “straining ahead” to the plan, purpose, and prize that God has for us and stop spending another second in our past. Let me say it again. Stop bringing up your past! We have all made mistakes, but, because of Jesus, our mistakes do not get to define us. We never have to look back on those mistakes again. We are free to walk in the redemption of Christ and we are free to extend that redemption and grace to others. What would it look like of we all did this? What would your life look like if you did this? You can and it starts today! Let’s never look back again!